The Lord Jesus might return today to take us home.
His imminent return should have us thinking about what kind of Church He will find upon the earth. Will He find us serving Him with joy? Will He come to a Church living in holiness and purity? Or will He surprise us while we are engaged in overt sin?
God knows a believer’s every thought and act because He lives inside us. His grace covers a multitude of sins while His Spirit convicts us of wrongdoing and leads us into righteousness. But at His coming, we will be ashamed of our behavior should He come at a time we don’t expect Him.
We might think that the moment of our resurrection ushers us into a trance-like existence in which the consciousness of what we were is gone. But although we will indeed be suddenly changed, we will still be us.
1 John 2:28 indicates that we will be cognizant of what we are doing the moment He appears to take us to heaven, as if we are moving from one room to the next. Imagine our embarrassment if a visitor suddenly shows up on our doorstep when we are in the middle of an argument with a family member. Even more, we will be ashamed if He comes back and finds us in sin.
Yes, our sins are forgiven. But who wants to miss the joy of being found doing what’s right when He appears?
Martin Luther is supposed to have famously said that even if he knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, he would still plant an apple tree. Knowing, as we do, that this world will soon be destroyed by fire in judgment, how should we spend the gift of this day? Should we invest in a dying world or prepare our hearts for the new one?
Spend the gift of time preparing for eternity. Remember that we are only passing through this land on our way to our real home. Live as if He could arrive at any moment. Bring someone new into the kingdom. Even if He doesn’t come in our lifetimes, we have purified our hearts and lived as the righteous servants Our Lord deserves.
Now, little children, abide in Him,
so that when He appears,
we may have confidence and not shrink
away from Him in shame at His coming.”
-1 John 2:28